Try… Try To Change…

Others’ experiences are always interesting to listen to but we must have them ourselves for the full meaning of His power and glory to register, writes  Mr Harry Mansbridge deliberating on the need to ‘try…try to change’, when one ‘arrives’ in Prasanthi Nilayam. (from Sanathana Sarathi archives)

Friends ask me why do I keep going to India? Is it to be recharged? Is it to be exposed to the cleansing fire of Swami’s leelas or is it to melt once again at His Feet and to feel the warmth of His all embracing Love? It is all these things and more.

Each visit is a new experience and this one (in February 1989) was no exception. I suppose it is imagination but His Love appears to flow more sweetly each time. Being in the highly charged spiritual environment at Prasanthi Nilayam our senses and sensibilities seem to be bombarded relentlessly. We must continually look at our thoughts and our reactions to `happenings’ and say to ourselves `what have I to learn from this.’ One of the boards alongside the Mandir entrance proclaims: `Ask yourself every day, what have I come here for and am I achieving it?’

We all long for an interview and one day I had a very humbling experience. I rarely talk to people while we are assembling in the Darshan lines but this particular day, I spoke to three people about possible interviews. The first – an Australian – said that he didn’t need an interview as he had received two smiles from Swami and had touched His Feet. The second was a Canadian doctor whom I meet every year. I said to him, “I haven’t seen you go up for an interview this year.” He replied, “No, I haven’t had one for four years but I am happy just being here.” The third – a member of the U.K. group, who had taken a week to reach the Ashram. He wanted to take photographs from outside the Mandir of Swami walking around the darshan lines. I advised him against it as the group might be called in for an interview. “I don’t mind,” he said, “I’ve had so much grace already” … three lovely characters who love our Lord.

Sometimes I feel I have so far to go that I haven’t yet started on the path but then during the interview He shows so much love by gentle taps on the cheek and shoulder. He knows that we are trying to practise His teachings and I feel that is the important thing, “to try” – try to change ourselves, our thoughts, our habits and our attitude to life. People’s experiences are always interesting to listen to but we must have them ourselves for the full meaning of His power and glory to register.

Let us look forward to the day, hopefully soon, when the whole world will be at His Lotus Feet.

II Samastha Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu II